Sunday, June 29, 2014

Eats: Strawberry Time!

Hello! Went to a local U-pick farm, De Lange's Redberry, earlier this week. I was happy to learn that the patch being picked the day I went was loaded with huge berries - by huge, I mean three or four times the normal size. In no time at all I had a nearly-full flat. Very tasty too! The strawberry variety was "Jewel", I was told. 

Here's what they looked like, shortly before I began hulling and washing:

What beauties! Almost look too good to eat, but of course I had no trouble doing just that. Have been feasting on strawberries every day since - in smoothies, as a granola topping, and have made two batches of jam, using this recipe.

Never hurts to have more strawberry recipes though, so I was happy to come across this cookbook at a garage sale yesterday:

After all, who would know better about strawberry recipes than the North American Strawberry Growers Association?

When I got home and had browsed through the cookbook some more, I decided I would try this:

Strawberry Sorbet (submitted by Bela Casson)

1 cup sugar
1 cup boiling water
1 quart fresh strawberries, washed and hulled, or 4 cups frozen unsweetened strawberries
1 cup orange juice
1/4 cup lemon juice

In a bowl, dissolve sugar in water. Using a blender or food processor, combine strawberries, orange and lemon juices; blend until smooth. Add sugar mixture and blend. Transfer to a bowl or ice cube trays and freeze until hard (4-6 hours). 

Break frozen mixture up in food processor until smooth as ice cream. Return to freeze and freeze until rehardened. 

Variation: Substitute artificial sweetener for sugar; sugared strawberries for fresh, reducing both sugar and water to 3/4 cup.

Notes: After making the sorbet base last night, I chilled it overnight, churned it in our electric ice cream maker and placed the sorbet in the freezer to harden. 

Here's how it turned out:

A bit sweet but still very good. From being churned in the ice cream maker, the texture is smooth. I don't know if it would have turned out as smooth if made the way the recipe was written. 

It seemed easier to let the ice cream maker do the work rather than having to process a bunch of sorbet ice cubes. But one advantage to the technique specified in the recipe is that the base could be made ahead and stored in the freezer until one is ready to process it further. 

As quickly as desserts seem to go around here, maybe I ought to make up another batch of strawberry sorbet base and store it in the freeze for a future treat!


Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Thrifty Acres: Favorite Foods Of 1958

Hello! I love the series of cookbooks that Betty Crocker put out several decades ago.  I don't know how many are in the series, nor the range of years in which they were published. All are small in size - about 5 3/4"x7 3/4" - but all are big are vintage charm. The oldest one I own dates from 1957 and the newest one came out in 1960. 

Here's the latest one I acquired, from a thrift store trip over the weekend:

This volume came out in 1958. It's worthy of its own blog post sometime, but for today I want to call attention to its survey of favorite American foods. The list of results is shown on page 5 of the cookbook. 

The folks at Betty Crocker explained how the survey data was collected: "A leading magazine recently asked this question of a great number of people in various walks of life..." These people, by the way, included "the governors of forty-eight states". 

That number of states looks funny to us today, of course, but that would all change the very next year with the additions of Alaska and Hawaii. 

Betty Crocker adds: "We, too, over a period of years have asked this question of thousands of homemakers throughout many parts of the United States."

And here is their list, in order of popularity:

I liked the appearance of #8 on the list, as that was what we'd for dessert after dinner! But braised pork chops? Beef stew? Are those still as popular today? 

I also noticed what wasn't on the list, and discussed with my husband as to what might be today's most popular American foods. Pizza and tacos were what immediately came to mind. 

Decided to look online for a current list of popular American foods. It was easy to find results based on opinion pieces, with commenters chiming in on their favorites, but I wanted something more "scientific" in nature. 

Found what I was looking for in Oxfam's Grow Campaign 2011. (I figured that year was current enough.) The name "Oxfam" may be familiar due to its wide-ranging charitable efforts. As Wikipedia explains: "Oxfam is an international confederation of 17 organizations working in approximately 94 countries worldwide to find solutions to poverty and what it considers as injustice around the world". 

According to this survey's results, when asked in the US, "What is your favorite food?", the answers were:

1. Pizza
2. Steak
3. Chicken
4. Mexican
5. Pasta
6. Italian
7. Seafood
8. Burger
9. Ice Cream
10. Sushi/Sashimi
11. Chocolate
12. Chinese
13. Tacos
14. Salad
15. Spaghetti (tie)
15. Beef (tie)

Not surprisingly, pizza and tacos made the 2011 list, and not only that, pizza was at the top. There were a few foods that made both lists, like ice cream and hamburgers. But poor braised pork chops, baked ham, strawberry shortcake and a few other goodies - they've fallen out of favor today. Or so the Oxfam data suggests.

Well, in regards to strawberry shortcake, that's never fallen out of favor with me! I consider it a must-have every year when local strawberries are in - which is why we had it for dessert last night. 

If you'd liked to read the entire Grow Campaign 2011 report, you can find it HERE.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Get Carded: Happy Birthday Times Two

Hello! Both a friend and a nephew have their birthdays today, so of course handmade cards were in order. 

My friend's card came together pretty quickly:

Materials used:
  • white card stock
  • art paper scrap (didn't photograph well, but it's very pretty)
  • heart cut from vintage greeting card
  • two pale purple diecut flowers glued to heart shape
  • scrap of purple/gold ribbon
  • "Happy Birthday" stamped in purple ink
I think my friend will like her card - I hope so, anyway!

My nephew's card was harder to make - he's a man of the world now, working his way up the ladder in the hospitality industry out in Las Vegas. He's already had one promotion in the short time he's been there and I'm sure more will follow. Thus, I wanted to design a card that would befit this stage of his life. 

Here's what I came up with:

Materials used:
  • white card stock
  • vintage wrapping paper from old dry goods store
  • art paper scrap (textured light tan piece)
  • art paper scrap (beige piece)
  • art paper scrap (circle shape)
  • image cut from 1947 Sears catalog 
  • "Happy Birthday" stamped in dark brown ink
I chose that particular image of a young man because I thought it resembled my nephew - wonder if he'll think so?

Happy Birthday, Donna and Paul!


Saturday, June 21, 2014

Thrifty Acres: From The Barn Sale

Hello! Saw a listing for a barn/estate sale. Past experience has shown me this category of sales can be hit or miss. The ad's write-up usually promises all sorts of interesting and unique goods. But when I get to the sale it seems like I end up seeing a bunch of stuff that looks like it should have gone straight to the scrap heap. 

Still, I took the bait on this one since a wide variety of goods were listed. That piqued my curiousity, so off I went. 

And indeed, I spied all sorts of stuff spread out over several long folding tables. A few vintage goods were priced high, I thought, but prices were reasonable on some other oldies. 

Buyers and sellers alike were in a jovial mood; a couple of buyers  bantered for several minutes with one of the sellers. Made for a fun atmosphere. 

What wasn't fun, however, were the narrow aisles in between all those folding tables. There wasn't much room to go around other shoppers, and I certainly didn't want to block anyone's else way, so I didn't linger long at most of the tables. 

Was happy with what I found, though, like this:

This is a cigar box; I purchased it for several reasons: I liked the colors and the graphics, I used to live close to Berks County, PA (nice area) and - not visible in the photo - someone had written the year of my birth on the lid. Will use it for studio storage. 

Part of a set of playing pieces from a mid-1950's Clue game. 

A close-up of a couple of the ladies:

Miss Scarlett looks like quite the Glamour Girl, doesn't she? Or maybe a femme fatale, given the nature of the board game. 

Was pleased to find a few quilt blocks; the kind that are to be embroidered:

Both the dog and cat have the printed stitch marks colored over with some kind of paint or marker. I don't know if a person did this as a substitution for embroidery, or if it was meant as a sort of guide for what colors of embroidery floss to use (a few stitch marks remained uncolored on the dog block, which is how I know the coloration was added later). 

Another vintage quilt block for embroidery:

With my love of squirrels, I couldn't pass this up (though come to think of it, I love dogs and cats too). In this case, the colors you see on the design were printed that way. I was happy to see that - saves me the brain strain of trying to figure out what colors I should use to stitch up the piece! 

Once embroidered, I think that all three quilt blocks would look cute appliqued onto pillows, although the squirrel would make a cute wallhanging for the the fall season as well. 

In a different part of the barn, I spotted this:

More of those embroidered quilt blocks, turned into a crib quilt. Some of the stitched animals are adorable:

Well, okay, that squirrel looks a bit demonic, but wouldn't you agree the rest of the critters are pretty darn cute? 

However, some of the quilt blocks didn't turn out so well, like these two:

Not sure if the sloppiness is due to a different person doing the stitching, a different type of stitch being used (stitches are too long to lie neatly) or if the quilt block patterns were poorly designed. 

Maybe all three factors, who knows? Anyway, still a cute quilt, and only one quilt square was damaged. It's one of the pale yellow squares, but I didn't care because I was buying the quilt for the embroidered sections. 

Lastly, a deck of playing cards, with an interesting sail design on the backs. Thought I'd use these in some sort of summer project. Inside the deck was a reminder to buy War Stamps and War Bonds, so I'm assuming these playing cards date to WWII.

I sailed on home with my purchases, pleased I'd taken a chance on this particular barn sale. True, I still saw stuff that I felt belonged in a trash can, but I was glad to spare my goodies that fate!



Thursday, June 19, 2014

Thrifty Acres: Early 20th C Ads Part 3

Hello! Here is my final installment of ads over 100 years old - from the one and only W. H. M. S. (women's home mission society) cookbook of Gibsonburg, Ohio. 

First up:
I liked how W. J. Simpson began his ad by stating he's leased rooms over the Iams & Mazey's Importing barn, so he's now ready, willing and able to make your old carriage look good again. "We guarantee first class work at living prices." - as opposed to dying prices?

S. Lack certainly didn't lack in goods to sell! Not only did he design and make single and double harnesses, he also carried "a full line of Whips, Robes Brushes and Oils". 

But wait! Before you set out for the road with your new harness, whip or robe, don't forget to have S. Lack show you "a line of fine Trunks, Valises and Dressing Cases."

Oh dear, I can't go on my trip yet - I don't know what a dressing case is! But then I looked it up on the Internet - it was a small piece of luggage, meant to hold toiletries. The online examples I saw were way bigger than the toiletry bag I toss into my suitcase nowadays. Oh well. 

Got a kick out of the matter-of-fact way F. R. Klotz makes the case for shopping at his grocery store: "You Should Eat The Best of Everything. We sell that Quality of goods."

And what exactly are the "Best of Everything" at this establishment? Well, here's a partial list:

After extolling the virtues of his coffee (with "nerve soothing goodness", no less), tea, canned goods ("fresh from the garden and orchard"), flour ("our brands are many and good"), spices, eggs, butter and lard, F. R. Klotz sums things up with confidence: "Give us your order for anything in the grocery department and trust to our ability to satisfy you." 

How many people trust their grocers to that extent today? 

The last item I'm showing off from this cookbook isn't actually an ad, but I still found it interesting:

At the back of the cookbook is a week's worth of menus. Oatmeal is still popular for breakfast, though not typically served with cream as shown above. Wasn't sure what "stewed potatoes" were, but looked through the cookbook to see if I could find a recipe. I did - turns out it's sliced potatoes, boiled until nearly done, then cooked in a sort of white sauce. 

If that's not enough breakfast for you, don't forget the boiled shad, biscuits, fruit and coffee. 

When it's lunchtime, partake of shad roe with sauce hollandise, Saratoga Chips (now known as potato chips), preserves, gingerbread and cocoa. Kind of an odd lunch - starts out rather fancy-sounding, but then morphs to simpler foods. 

To top it all off, there's a dinner of fish soup, boiled rock with lobster sauce, potatoes, tomatoes, asparagus, wafers, cheese, a cherry dessert and coffee. 

Whew! Imagine the labor involved in fixing those courses, without the benefit of the labor-saving devices we have today. Merchants like F. R. Klotz may have had the "Best of Everything" when it came to groceries - but he didn't help prepare all that food!



Monday, June 16, 2014

Made It: Almost-Instant T-shirt Crafts

Hello! I finally got my husband to go through his slightly out-of-control t-shirt collection. It turned out that he hadn't been wearing many of his t-shirts for a reason: either they were too big, too small, or were rather worn out. 

There was still some life left in the ill-fitting shirts, and some of these he had particularly liked at one time. So I decided to see if I could make something with them. 

Didn't have enough t-shirts to make a quilt, but besides being kind of college dorm-ish, I wanted something quicker. And as it turned out, I found a couple of crafts that were way quicker. 

Like, would you believe an apron you can make in a minute or less? It's true:

As you may be able to tell, the neckline of the t-shirt stayed put to become the apron neckline. The sleeves and most of the back of the apron were cut away. A portion of the back was cut to make a couple of straps to tie around the waist. Quite clever, I thought!

This wouldn't win any ribbons at the county fair, but hey, what do you want for under a minute? I liked this so much I made one for me, and will make more with other old t-shirts. I'm a messy cook/eater/gardener, so I'll make enough for frequent apron changes. 

The larger the size, the more coverage, of course. A men's large or x-large works for me. 

If you're interested, the tutorial can be found HERE.

I was on a roll, and still had a couple of my husband's old favorite t-shirts at my disposal. I decided to turn them into pillow covers for the pillows that had come with the family room couch. I'd made a slipcover for that couch a few years ago, so its pillows no longer matched it. Time for a different look:

Late 1980's Chicago Cubs t-shirt. 

I think that this t-shirt is from the same era. My husband might have purchased it during Michigan's sesquicentennial celebration in 1987. 

(note: that's not the slipcovered couch behind the pillows. The slipcover is blue, so the t-shirted pillows now match it very well.)

Again, this was very easy! I think the most time-consuming part of the project was pinning the three sections together - one front and two back pieces. That step took more time than the sewing did! More clever cutting: the hemmed bottom portions of the t-shirt's front and back were used for the backing, so no further hemming was needed. The three pieces were sewn together to form an envelope-like shape - besides being an easy way to make a pillow cover, the cover can be easily removed for washing when needed. 

I found that t-shirt fabric is very forgiving - there was no need to stress out over making a paper pattern to the nth degree of accuracy. I just laid one of my pillows over a piece of newspaper and cut around it. Same with cutting the two pieces for the backing - I just made sure they would overlap when sewn to the front piece. Didn't need a ruler or more paper patterns, I just eyeballed it! 

But of course, there are directions to follow; you can see the tutorial HERE.

Easy, functional, cheap, no-sew or low-sew: my idea of a good project - or two, in this case. 

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Get Carded: Happy Father's Day

Hello! I scooped up a collection of vintage matchbooks at a garage sale a couple of weekends ago. While sorting through them when I got home, I unearthed one from someone's past visit to a Tasty World restaurant in the Atlanta area. 

I recalled that back in the late 1970's, my husband had gone down to Florida to visit a friend, and had taken along his aunt and his aunt's friend. They had stayed at an Atlanta-area Day's Inn on their way south and had eaten at the motel's restaurant, Tasty World. 

Could my matchbook had come from the same restaurant? I didn't know, but figured it was close enough to use for my husband's Father's Day card:

Materials used:

  • white card stock
  • vintage matchbook
  • portion of calendar page cut from the 1997 diary Cherished Cats And Keepsake Kittens (Cynthia Hart, author)
  • cat's head cut from same source as calendar page
  • "Happy" cut from vintage book
Close-up of the "Tasty World" graphics:

To hear my husband tell it, neither that long-ago stay at a Day's Inn, nor the food at Tasty World, was anything to write home about. Nevertheless, he got a kick out of seeing the Tasty World graphics on his Father's Day card! He was greatly surprised too. 

Expect the unexpected with my cards, I told him.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Thrifty Acres: Early 20th C Ads Part 2

As previously promised, here's another batch of ads from the W. H. M. S. (Women's Home Mission Society)cookbook of Gibsonburg, Ohio. 

Got your attention? Good - now you can read the following:

"PROF. LEON, Wonderful Massage Treatment, can, has and will make cripples walk. You should consult him. He has been a blessing to humanity." 

What a pity we don't have the likes of Prof. Leon today to cure "Rheumatism, Paralysis, Nervous Prostration" and "Curvature of the Spine"!

Silly me for never having thought that I should buy a stove the same way I buy a hat. 

I also love Haar-Brauksieck's boast in the second paragraph about their kitchenware: "Not the cheap trashy kind but good goods." My mind is set at ease now!

As I'd said in my first post about this cookbook, I couldn't find a publication date but noted that the ads made no mention of cars. So naturally horses would have had great importance as transportation, farm work, hauling goods, etc. 

Thus, we have this ad:

This was my first encounter with the term "Scientific Horseshoeing", so I wasn't quite sure what it meant. From doing some research online, all I came up with was a reference to an old book that used the same term. In that book, the author purportedly discussed various equine foot ailments, but of course I don't know if H. H. Andrews was trained to do the same. 

While I've never bought horseshoes, I've bought flour many a time. The brands I've used have always been good, but it's nice to know that this was also true at F. E. Voorheis. "Not a shadow of anything but good finds its way into our store.  ...many...brands of flour all of them good..."

I feel somewhat cheated, though, because the places where I've purchased flour have never had crushed oyster shells, chicken feed, hay and grain available for purchase. 

Although J. H. Tebbe & Sons carried a number of items, some are obsolete today. 

But one thing they sold isn't:

"Hammocks - Nothing so restful after a days work". This is still true, and with Father's Day just around the corner, I have seen them advertised as the perfect gift for Dear Old Dad. 

Well, speaking of Father's Day, I'm off to take care of some Father's Day gifts for my own dad - not a hammock, alas, but if you've gotten one for your dad, I hope he finds it as restful as much as J. H. Tebbe & Sons seemed to!



Monday, June 9, 2014

Eats: Ice Tea Concentrate

Hello! Although it's not been a hot summer thus far (at least not according to my standards), a nice tall glass of ice tea is still refreshing after a workout session or some yardwork. Or while lazing out on the back deck, for that matter. 

In years past, I'd made sun tea in a huge pitcher, then made a simple syrup to add some sweetening to the tea. This latter step prevents that pile of undissolved sugar that seems to collect in the bottom of the drinking glass no matter how well you think you'd stirred it in. 

This way of making ice tea was fine, but that huge pitcher took up a huge amount of room in our refrigerator. But the way my husband drank up the tea, it didn't make sense to prepare a smaller amount. 

Then somewhere I came across a recipe for ice tea concentrate. I don't recall the source, but as I'd written the recipe on a piece of paper, I probably got it off the Internet. It sounded like an easy way to have the makings for ice tea on hand while saving room in the refrigerator. So of course I had to try it.

First, the recipe, then my results.

Ice Tea Concentrate

10 cups water
20 tea bags
5 cups sugar

1. Bring water to boil. Remove from heat and add tea bags. Steep 10-15 minutes. 

2. Remove tea bags, add sugar and bring to boil again. Cool and refrigerate. 

3. To serve: 3-4 parts cold water to 1 part concentrate, depending on how sweet you like your ice tea.

Here's how it turned out:

Above, nearly three quarts of concentrate, and a glass of ice tea made with it. I used the 4:1 ratio for my glass. 

It's just as refreshing as it looks! Now, you may think I diluted my tea too much and that's why it looks rather pale. However, the 20 tea bags I used for the concentrate weren't all of the usual black tea variety, so that is why the tea looks weak. The flavor isn't though. It's just right, although I think even at a 4:1 dilution ratio, the tea is a bit sweet. I think I'll reduce the sugar a bit next time. 

Though who knows, maybe that 5 cups of sugar is appropriate for a concentrate using just black tea. But the way I make ice tea is more a mix-and-match version. I do use more black tea than anything else, but I sub in some herbal teas too.

I used to buy a rose hip/hibiscus herbal tea blend sold by Crabtree and Evelyn and began adding it in place of some of the black tea when I made sun tea. I forget now why I began doing this (this would have been back in the early 1990's), but it made for a very nice ice tea. It felt (at least to me) like something you'd get at a B&B or tea room, but was my own concoction. 

That particular tea blend is no longer made by Crabtree and Evelyn, but there are other companies that still do. Currently I'm using another brand, Macval. 

I'm sure that any herbal tea of your choice would work, though. And speaking of herbs, I also added some sprigs of lemon balm and mint from my herb garden along with the tea bags while making the concentrate.
Could you try this with green tea? Or with honey or another sweetener? I don't see why not, though you're on your own with the amount of sweetener to use.

I'm guessing this could be made ahead and frozen too, if one wants to serve ice tea at a large gathering but wants to do some prep in advance. And of course, the recipe can be reduced if you have a small group on your hands instead. 

As for my household - even with my ice tea-swilling husband around, I think a full batch of concentrate will last awhile. So bring the heat on! 


Saturday, June 7, 2014

Thrifty Acres: Early 20th C Ads

Hello! The Garage Sale Gods were very good to me this morning - the weather was nice, buyers and sellers were all pleasant, and I found some great deals at a few sales close to home. What could be better? Well, if I'd had more money in my wallet...just as well I didn't, for I might have come home with more stuff!

So what did I come home with? A few decorative pieces for the garden, some vintage craft magazines, vintage matchbooks (I use these for crafting) and a spare mixing bowl for my Kitchen Aid stand mixer (only a buck for it!). 

My favorite find, however, was from the "free" box at one of the sales - a rather beat-up copy of the Second Edition W.H.M.S. Cook Book from Gibsonburg, Ohio. I think that the acronym  stands for "Women's Home Mission Society".

Had never heard of Gibsonburg, Ohio, but learned it's a little southeast of Toledo. As of the 2010 census, it only had around 2,500 people in it.

Unfortunately, I could find no publication date for the cookbook, but judging from the ads within it, I'd say it's at least 100 years old, probably even a bit older than that. There are phone numbers shown for a few of the businesses, but not a single mention of cars anywhere. 

Some of the cookbook's recipes are quite appealing and many are clear enough to make sense of, but it was the ads I liked the best. I found so many of them interesting that there'll be one than one blog post on them. 

So let's get started:

Had never heard of the phrase "manly bosoms" before, but then again I never had the opportunity to do my grocery shopping at Smith, Sander & Co. 

"We keep nothing but up-to-date goods..." No last season's markdowns for Mrs. Della Fox, evidently!

"Wise Wives make home pleasant" with a trip to M. G. Veh. And look! When the man of the house goes to meet his Maker, Mr. Veh can help with the undertaking and embalming too. 

But before the man of the house had expired, perhaps he had gone to E. A. Williams & Co, Druggists, for "Drugs, Patent Medicines and Chemicals" in an effort to get better. Couldn't help but wonder what was in those potions. 

"You Will Always Find the Newest Productions" sounds very exciting, especially when Sprenger & Bowser adds "Not a thing left to wish for. Prices within reach of everyone. Come in and be convinced." 

I found the ad's straightforward confidence rather charming. It was for women's hats, by the way. 

I thought the above ad was funny - after N. B. Ervin's first mentions that one should "Go To" them "FOR DRUGS" ("drugs" is the largest word in the whole ad), then the ad proceeds to list several other items for sale, some not related to health at all. Then at the bottom it's as if N. B. Ervin suddenly remembers the DRUG bit: "IN FACT EVERYTHING IN THE DRUG LINE. We always have a complete stock." 

Whew! Glad they cleared that up! Gee, should I still buy my paints there? 

In spite of the dopey puns by the animal pictures, Charles Herman appeared to be dead serious about the quality of his meats. "Our mutton is sold as mutton not as spring lamb. No lies - no misrepresentation. We simply guarantee our beef, veal, mutton, pork, etc., just as we say they are. If this is the way you like to do business call on CHARLES HERMAN." 

Yeah, you just better not go to that butcher over on Oak Street - I heard he skinned and cut up a possum and labeled it as grade A choice steak! 

I got a kick out of these ads and hope you did as well - for like I said, I'll be showing more of them from the W. H. M. S. Cook Book in the near future!


Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Made It: Scrappy Bookmarks

Hello! Anyone who sews tend to collect fabric scraps left over from projects. Even so, when the remnant pile at a fabric store beckons, or the bagged pieces at a thrift store or estate sale call one's name, it's easy to give in to more fabric. 

Earlier this spring I used very small fabric scraps in a decorative wreath, seen HERE, but I still had more scraps, of course. While doing some decluttering yesterday I came across a simple fabric scrap project for making bookmarks; I had clipped the instructions from a magazine (don't recall which one now). Decided it was worth a try.

I'll give the directions, then explain how I changed them to suit myself. 

Scrappy Bookmarks (adapted from a project submitted by Jackie Jones of Manhattan, Montana)

Sew fabric scraps into a 2"x8" rectangle. Layer it, right sides together, with a same-size backing fabric rectangle, and top with a same-size piece of batting. Pin together and sew around the pieces a scant 1/4" from the edges, leaving an opening for turning along one edge. Clip corners, turn right side out. Press and topstitch around the entire bookmark a scant 1/4" from the edges.

Notes: The first time, I followed the directions to the letter, but felt that the batting layer made the bookmark a bit too bulky. So I decided to try it again, this time eliminating the batting. Not only did this make the project even quicker, but it made the bookmark easier to sew as well. I then threaded ribbon in a large needle and pulled it through the bookmark to make two even lengths. I knotted these together to make a "tail".

I ended up making two bookmarks for now:

Close-up of some of the fabrics used:

I've had that blue floral print fabric for over 25 years now, and it was old when I bought it at a garage sale. It dates from the 1930's or 1940's, I believe. Because of its age, I've kept its scraps. Some of them went into that wreath, but I was happy to find a use for one more piece of that vintage fabric. 

Since I eventually opted out of using batting, the bookmarks are a bit floppy, but still do their job of keeping place in a book just fine. Still, it might not be a bad idea to add some fusible web for body in between. Will try that out another time!